I am pretty sure a horse was either dying or giving birth somewhere in the vicinity of my tent last night! A truly weird noise, moreso when you are alone in your tent with no humans in a five km radius. I have adopted a childlike approach to wildlife – I close the flaps on the tent and assume if I can’t see them, they can’t see me. A bit like the magic elf cloak in the Lord of the rings, I hope the animals will assume my grey tent is just a boulder.
In the end I had no animal encounters last night, and as this is my last night camping I am all good to cook breakfast in bed and have my tent smell like food, so I retrieved my bear canister and cooked while I waited for the sun to come up. The sun didn’t really arrive, but the rain did.
Job one for the day was fording the inlet, which was a piece of cake…. Hilarious that the path is labelled as closed.
Then I saw no humans for 15km as I wandered passed taggart lake and through the white meadows to phelps lake.
The trail was lovely but a bit boring after a while, there are only so many lovely trees you need to see
Lake Phelps was delightful and I finally saw some people and then a whole lot of people. Amusingly this is one of the few places in the world where you are advised to sing on the trail – it stops you surprising bears, wish I had that excuse everywhere! I surprised a few humans this morning with my off key melodies!
And that was it, an easy 21km stroll down the valley with a few lakes for the final day to arrive back at the Granite Canyon trailhead. Most people don’t do this valley section, instead they get a shuttle back to their cars from Jenny Lake, but I think the extra miles were worth it to see Surprise/Ampitheatre lakes, though these could be done as an easy day hike.
Am now in Jackson hole where I have ordered the ‘breakfast special’ of fried chicken and waffles with maple syrup – yes it was on the breakfast menu! In my defence I have tried to make it healthier by ordering berries on the side. It was delicious and I could have eaten two.
I would wholeheartedly recommend this trip as an easy couple of days hiking/camping. The itinerary hit all of the highlights of the park and then some. The trails are well groomed and the Rangers gave great advice – Tripp at the office in Moose was fabulous, ask for him by name
Bradley Lake to Granite Canyon 21km covered.
- Backcountry campsite permits can be booked in advance on line, or the day before – see the nps website , and you can figure out where you want to camp using the backcountry camping guide. Note that bear canisters are available to borrow for free, but you will need to buy bear spray ($45)
- Jackson and Teton Village are wildly overpriced for accommodation. I stayed in a dorm at the hostel in Teton village which was fine for $40 a night. Alternatively you can camp at Jenny Lake, Gros Ventre or Colter Bay, for $20-25 per night but there are no advanced reservations. Details here . there is some free camping en route to Jackson in the national forest but it is at least an hours drive away
- Food and supplies are expensive here, stock up before you arrive at the REI in Salt Lake or the Walmart in Idaho Falls or elsewhere en route